If you have visited Reusable Art’s bird and chicken images before, you might know that this is not our first Dorking chicken drawing. The breed appears to have been quite popular in Victorian England and is included in a number of books and periodicals from that time. The book, which included this unattributed colored plate, was from the 8th edition (1842) of a large work on fattening, rearing and breeding a number of farm animals and birds written by John Lawrence (1753-1839).
This dorking chicken drawing is a bit more grungy than I generally like but I spent some time playing with it and had little success. So, other than sharpening the image a bit and blotting out some of the foxing, it is as it was scanned from the original. Hopefully, it will work as is for you or you have more patience and skills than I do to clean it up.
In this drawing, we have a rooster and a hen. Like most birds, the male is larger and his feathers are fancier. The limited use of color in this vintage bookplate make it hard to tell how differently the two are colored from each other. And, from having worked with the species of chickens before, I know there are quite a few different varieties of birds with “dorking” in their name. For the most part, the only color in this drawing is the red wattles and combs on the two birds. The feathers are shades of grey and brown that add little color to the overall presentation.
The pair of birds are shown on open ground with some tall grass and a bush to provide a bit of cover.
This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.